US Ethanol Production Leads Brazil to Double Corn Exports

Brazil expands corn production Brazil should double foreign sales of corn in this crop to eight million tons. In the previous crop, exports totaled four million tons. This information was supplied by the general coordinator of Grain and Annual Cultures at Brazil's Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply, SÀ­lvio Farnese.

According to Farnese, the increase in the United States production of ethanol, which is made from corn, is one of the reasons for greater sales. "There has been an increase in the price of corn due to greater demand for corn in the US, which may grant Brazil a greater market share," he said.

A study by the National Food Supply Company (Conab) revealed that the area on which corn is cultivated is 13.4 million hectares, which corresponds to the production of 48.8 million tons, 14.7% greater than the previous harvest.

According to Farnese the expansion in the cultivated area may be credited to the price of the product. Climate conditions, in turn, contributed to the growth of production.

Estimates by Brazil's National Food Supply Company (Conab), a state-owned organization in charge of supervising and regulating agricultural production in the country. indicate that Brazilian farmers should produce 126 million tons of grain in the 2006-2007 crop, 

If Conab's projection proves true, then Brazilian agricultural production will break the record established by the 2002-2003 crop. The production for the current crop might be 3% higher than in the last record high.

Soy, corn and cotton are the products for which production should increase the most, according to the forecast of Conab. Brazilian soy production is expected to reach 56 million tons – a 5% increase compared with the previous crop. Corn production should increase 13% to reach 48 million tons.

The Conab survey is conducted in 280 municipalities in southern and midwestern Brazil, and in the northeastern states of Bahia, Rondônia, Pará, Tocantins, Maranhão and Piauí­. A total of 47 technicians of Conab conducted 1,440 interviews with farmers to estimate the volume of agricultural production.

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